Right-sided rhabdoid colorectal tumors might be related to the Serrated Pathway

Massimo Pancione, Andrea Remo, Lina Sabatino, Caterina Zanella, Carolina Votino, Alessandra Fucci, Arturo Di Blasi, Giovanni Lepore, Bruno Daniele, Francesca Fenizia, Enrico Molinari, Nicola Normanno, Erminia Manfrin, Roberto Vendraminelli, Vittorio Colantuoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Rhabdoid colorectal tumor (RCT) is a rare, highly aggressive neoplasm recurrent in elderly patients, commonly at the caecum. The molecular mechanisms underlying RCT pathogenesis remain poorly elucidated. The differential diagnosis is with the malignant rhabdoid tumors of infancy characterized by genetic inactivation of SMARCB1 (INI1) or deletions of chromosome 22q12 locus.Materials and methods: To shed light on RCT pathogenesis, we investigated genetic and epigenetic alterations in two cases of pure and composite RCT and compared them with the profiles of matched adenomas and normal mucosa. Immunohistochemical analysis, FISH, methylation specific PCR and DNA sequencing analysis were performed on paraffin-embedded tissues. Results: Loss of epithelial markers, (CK20, CDX2 and E-cadherin) and intense vimentin expression was observed in RCTs but neither in the normal mucosa or adenomas. INI1 expression was detected in normal mucosa, adenomas and retained in pure RCT, while it was undetected in composite RCT. Rearrangement of the 22q12 locus was found only in pure RCT. The APC/β-catenin pathway was not altered, while MLH1 immunostaining was negative in RCTs and positive in adenomas and normal mucosa. These expression profiles were associated with V600E BRAF mutation, a progressive accumulation of promoter methylation at specific CIMP loci and additional genes from the normal mucosa to tubular adenoma and RCT.Conclusions: Right-sided RCT could be characterized by epigenetic events and molecular features likely similar to those occurring in the serrated pathway and associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These extremely rare tumors may benefit from the use of new biological molecules specific for colorectal carcinoma.Virtual slides: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1641385210804556.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalDiagnostic Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 20 2013


  • CpG island methylator phenotype, CIMP
  • Rhabdoid Colorectal Tumor, RCT
  • Serrated pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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